Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Report Card Blues

Like the majority of public school teachers, I've been busying myself with report cards lately. Checking grades for 7 kids is not daunting, and because of the small number, I'm usually pretty sure, even before hand, how well the children have been learning.

Like many special education teachers, I find our report card forms completely inadequate. When my little kids are working below grade level (some significantly so), and their IEP goals outline the course I need to take with regard to academics, the ACHIEVEMENT and EFFORT blocks do not quite do the job. Is is achievement, based on the IEP, or achievement based on the standards set by the county/state?

And worse is the section on citizenship. Most of my ED kids NEED IMPROVEMENT in all these areas, and some even improve a bit over the course of a school year.... and yet, improvement is still necessary. The N in the report card box signifies a kind of failure, and still my student may have made significant improvement according to his IEP. Clearly, the report card form just doesn't work for all students.

So, I'll fill out all the N's as necessary, send home IEP update forms that speak more fully to the child's progress.... double the work for not double the information.

Here's the reality. The daily point sheet, sent home, well, daily, gives the parents the most clear indication of their child's day. The graded work I send home weekly lets them know what their child is learning and how well. That's the kind of assessment that provides information parents can use.

No comments: